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Michigan State University

Getting Started in Business

Defining Electronic Resources

What are electronic resources? How does that compare to databases? And what about indexes?

In short electronic resources is used as an umbrella term that refers to all resources that are electronic. That can include databases, journals, books, newspapers, web sites, etc.

Databases are what you search to find reports, articles, etc.

Indexes are a type of database that index articles from many periodicals like journals, newspapers, and magazines.

Then there are e-books, e-journals, e-newspapers, web sites, and more that are all considered electronic resources.

In addition, a search engine is not a database. A search engine searches the world wide web like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. A database contains its own content, which is not available via the world wide web or a search engine.

Using Our Databases

Find articles, reports, company financials, analyst reports, market and industry data, and more. See the tab above for more information on finding articles.

You can find all of our business databases here: It also includes links to business newspapers and e-books.

Please note that our databases are for academic use only and some have special limitations. See the description of the database for information:

Research Guides - Don't know where to start? Our Research Guides will tell you what resources to try based on your business subject area.

There are many additional databases that cover all subject areas. You can find them here: They will have their own guides here:

All library databases should be accessed via the library's web site. Do not access them by using Google or another search engine. We have unique URLs that identify you as an MSU person that you can only access from our web site.

We also have some help guides in using some of our databases. See the Database Help Guides tab here:

Having trouble accessing our databases? There's a 24/7 Help Line:

Searching With A Purpose

Video tutorial to help with your research focus and getting started with searching.

Direct link to "Searching with a Purpose" in MSU MediaSpace

Video credit: Megan Kudzia

Michigan State University